Monday, 17 March 2008


After the last blog of plenty now a blog of want. Obviouysly inspired by Heinrich Hoffmann’s Suppen-Kaspar, whose diminishing boy-figure I’ve never forgotten, the dress was crocheted from a finely spun silk/wool-mixture, using a thin crocheting hook. Lots and lots of tiny even stitches. As with all my dresses I worked from the centre: down from the narrow waist for the skirt and up for the bodice. I loved the feel of the blue skirt flowing slowly from between my fingers. The bodice was a sweatier affair, wielding a very small crocheting hook to produce extremely tight stitches. I wanted a dense, firm and contracted feel here and chose the pattern to give the impression of bricks used to erect a tower, all in contrast to the softness of the wide flowing skirt. I had chosen another pattern originally and when I changed my mind about it half way through I found it was impossible to unravel the stitches as they were completely interwebbed. Had to cut everything off just above the skirt and start again. That bit of necessary aggression seemed strangely fitting.
The dress hangs from a mattress needle. It is gigantic, 25 cm long, and looks and feels like a needle made for a giantess. I imagine her sitting on top of a hill with legs stretching into the valley and mending her daughter's torn dress with dainty stitches (in giant’s terms). I’m digressing, but in a way it makes sense, as the dress is also something to do with how much place one wants/dares to take up in the world. Of course it’s always more ambiguous than that – by trying to make yourself small and almost disappear in thin air you also stand out. Delicacy set against and with stressed, strained toughness.
With each dress I crochet I fantasise a girl. I see this one as having come to a stage where she refuses to take anything in. Not food, not air, not filth, not hair, not insult, not injury, not fear, not hope, not affection, not

Dimensions: 61 cm x 90 cm


Kruse said...

Yes, she is walled in, huh? A bit prim and proper,somewhat 'buttoned up' and yet the needle...I always feel that needles and pins are somehow violent, passive aggressive. Yet beautiful. The shape of the skirt is pretty and girly, but the blue is an eternal blue with something of the sky and infinity about it. So she seems abandoning the physical, her terribly thin body, turning to the spirit and then all that is beautifully undercut by the needle, a very exacting, utterly physical gesture. Lovely. I do enjoy seeing your work.

Cathy said...

I've found myself drawing dress shapes just recently, inhabited dresses, I call them. I have no idea where they are going to take me, creatively, if anywhere, but seeing your work again I realise how there are some archetypal themes that touch many of us.... take care and will send poems soon. cathy november moon

edgesofvision said...
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Catherine said...

I can't believe how tall she is, but dreamy for the sky blue and the soft silky wool you describe. Those dresses always seem to belong to somebody indeed. When people used to knit more, it was for somebody in particular, and they often adjusted to fit the body of the person. so it does make sense to see the person within. Clothes are not just things they carry the person within with them. Absolutely love the dresses, so glad to see another one. They will make a lovely exhibition one day.

redredday said...

Marjojo, you have my heart singing these last couple of days. i started writing to you the other day but haven't gotten a chance to find examples of some chinese characters to show you yet. but i will soon. you got me wanting to check out some chinese prose and lyrics.

yesterday, so thrilled to see this new post and then to find the words you left for me. wonderfully surprised and touched. how is it that you understand more than i do myself sometimes??
i come back again and again to see this new work. like the red column, it makes me stop and take a deep breath each time looking at it. and i haven't gotten tired of reading the last line in the last passage. i love it so much. over and over again i read it and i don't know why but those words make me feel powerful. the sequence of it is so affective. i am particularly struck by the word 'filth' and then following at the end, hope and affection.
She is a powerful one, isn't she? despite her very thinness, which is like what you said about standing out even more because of it. i like what Kruse wrote about her abandoning the physical and turning to the spirit.

and the needle is huge! i didn't even know they make needles that big. the needle makes the dress not as innocent, almost dangerous to handle if one is not careful. makes me think how often one is not careful at times, despite how delicate some things can be.

Carol said...

Marjojo, I've just read through your blog and I'm so impressed by your courage and your spirit and your talent. Thank you for visiting my blog, your comments really resonated with me, as I grew up with Viennese mother and grandparents and the European fairy tales were an important part of my life.

Marjojo said...

Thank you, all! It's so good to spend time in blogland again, poetry course is on Easter break, so there's room in my head for writing and reading and conversing here. Too tired for more just now, but wanted to say this at least. YIPPIEH! (imagine that squeaked).

hineshm said...

I like your work! A lot!

cally said...

too tired for words, but if i had energy i'd be gushing with enthusiasm at the words, the dress, the thoughts in this post. x